Computers are my copilot: Six machines that might help you get there

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So many buttons!

Picture courtesy of G. Weir; click for full size

Up, up, and away!

Of course, most of the computers you've seen in this slideshow -- with military and space-based applications -- aren't likely to be taking you anywhere anytime soon. But there are incredibly advanced computer systems that help ferry millions of people over thousands of miles every day -- they make up the guts of commercial airliners, which are some of the most advanced machines on the planet.

Pictured is the cockpit of the behemoth Airbus A380, currently the newest and largest major airliner in operation. The A380 is run by an Integrated Modular Avionics infrastructure, derived from the systems that run the latest generation of fighter jets. The whole thing is driven by the Integrity 178B real-time operating system. Thankfully the bugs that cause the computers to crash when crossing the International Date Line have been fixed!

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